INAUGURAL ADDRESS 51
must respect the walls from the big general entrance to the interior
of his own little apartment. He who keeps his house in good
condition receives the recognition and consideration due to such
a tenant. Thus all the tenants unite in the ennobling welfare of
practical hygiene, an end made possible by the simple task, of
conserving the already perfect conditions.
Here indeed is something new: So far only our great national
buildings have had a continued maintenance fund. Here, in these
houses offered to the people, the maintenance is confided to a
hundred or so working men, that is, to all the occupants of the
building. This care is almost perfect. The people keep the house
in perfect condition, without a single spot. The building in which
we find ourselves today has been for two years under the sole
protection of the tenants, and the work of maintenance has been
left entirely to them. Yet few of our houses can compare in clean-
liness and freshness with this home of the poor.
The experiment has been tried and the result is remarkable.
The people acquire, together with the love of home-making, that
of cleanliness. They come, moreover, to wish to beautify their
homes. The Association helps this by placing growing plants and
trees in the courts and about the halls. Out of this honest rivalry
in matters so productive of good, grows a species of pride new to
this Quarter; this is the pride which the entire body of tenants
takes in having the best-cared-for building and in having risen to
a higher and more civilized plane of living. They not only live in
a house, but they know how to live, they know how to respect the
house in which they live.
This first impulse has led to other reforms. From the clean
home will come personal cleanliness. Dirty furniture cannot be
tolerated in a clean house, and those persons living in a perma-
nently clean house will come to desire personal cleanliness.
One of the most important hygienic reforms of the Association
is that of the baths. Each remodelled tenement has a place set
apart for bathrooms, furnished with tubs or shower, and having
hot and cold water. , All the tenants in regular turn may use these